Apples and berries abound for anyone willing to pick their own fruit at many Californian farms. These seven pick-your-own farms, listed north to south, offer trees and patches for you to harvest yourself, as well as tastings and even food made from the produce at hand.
Apple Hill, Placerville
In the heart of the Gold Country, choose from more than 50 farms and ranches offering old-fashioned pumpkin patches, apple picking and delicious cider doughnuts.
Cover’s Apple Ranch, Tuolumne
Take a side trip on your way to or from Yosemite to harvest crisp apples, visit farmyard animals, and picnic on fresh deli items and homemade pies, which change seasonally based on what's freshest at the time.
Swanton Berry Farm, Pescadero and Davenport
Typically between May–September, you can pick the organic strawberries at one of this farm’s two locations between Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Depending on the season, you might also be able to pick your own juicy Olallieberries or try some of the farm’s other unusual fruits such as Tayberries and Loganberries.
Villa del Sol, Leona Valley
Plan a spring or early summer agricultural road trip to pick your fill of five varieties of sweet cherries at this extensive orchard, about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles. You can also purchase local raw honey on site.
Kenny’s Strawberry Farm, Rainbow
They grow sweet, hearty strawberries 'hydrophorically'—in containers above the ground—in these family-friendly strawberry fields in Rainbow, five minutes from Temecula. You can also pick watermelons, pumpkins and other vegetables during your visit, depending on the time of year.
Carlsbad Strawberry Company, Carlsbad
Near the region’s famous flower fields, pick your own big, juicy berries or stop by a trio of stands to buy these locally grown beauties.
Go on the grower-led 'all you can eat' tour to see and taste how produce grows at this pesticide-free natural farm in historic Julian. Afterwards, you can fill a bag with a variety of apples, pears and plums. If you have children in tow, bring some organic grapes so that they can feed the farm’s rescue chickens.
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